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Article by John Salza
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Author:  Mario Looch [ Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Article by John Salza

In this article he claims that John Lane and John Daly err in regards to what Suarez taught if I remember correctly and also states:
For Popes who propagate heresy, promote modernist theology, practice black magic, kiss Korans, and worship with pagans at Assisi, they are considered only “suspect of heresy” (but not manifest heretics).28

I find that to be a rather interesting assertion, can someone explain the veracity (or lack thereof) of that statement?

How would it compare to the following statement:

For when one publicly removes the bowels, guts, lungs, heart and head of another he is only "suspect of murder" (but cannot be considered an actual murderer).

Author:  John Lane [ Thu Nov 27, 2014 1:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Article by John Salza

The reason that a public heretic is not a Catholic is that if he were, the unity of profession of faith of the Church would be impaired; but this unity always persists, therefore public heretics are not members.

This has no analogy to other sins or crimes. The Greek Orthodox are not members of the Church, not because we regard them as all sinners or criminals, but because if they were members of the Church, the Church would not be one, she would be multiform, which is impossible.

Consequently, all of this canonical hair-splitting (it's really very crude - perhaps log-splitting is a better metaphor) is utterly beside the point. What it reveals is a mind that has not actually consulted a theology book and understood the most fundamental things about the question at issue.

Salza should read this kind of thing - an excellent introduction to the points at issue - before he ever begins to tackle the subject of heresy and membership:

As for Suarez, Salza merely asserts his view, then quotes contradictory passages from Suarez and Bellarmine and declares that these agree!

Salza thinks that the loss of office for heresy is a punishment. It isn't. It's a consequence of loss of membership in the Church. It's true that heresy is a sin, and if externalised at all, a crime, and if externalised sufficiently, it results in loss of membership, but each of these points is distinct, even if they are obviously related. Again, to grasp how they are related, and yet how they remain distinct, one needs to do a little study of various aspects of theology and canon law. Salza manifestly hasn't done this study.

It may assist to put into relief how flippant Salza is by considering this claim he makes in one of his articles:

"Suarez (along with Bellarmine) actually held the Fifth Opinion (office lost ipso facto), and this is why Bellarmine does not mention Suarez when he refutes the Fourth Opinion held by Cajetan (office lost by declaration) in De Romano Pontifice, chapter 30.


"More proof for this point is that Bellarmine (d.1621) and Suarez (d.1617) lived at the same time, and both held that their “opinion” was the common opinion of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church..."

Bellarmine handles this matter in his Controversies, published between 1581 and 1593. Suarez handled it in his De fide, published posthumously in 1622. The very first of Suarez's books was not published until 1590. It is true that he was a contemporary of Bellarmine - it is simply false to suggest that Bellarmine didn't refute him because they agreed. Bellarmine would never have refuted an opinion that was not published!

Author:  Mario Looch [ Sat Nov 29, 2014 1:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Article by John Salza

Thanks John. One thing I have noticed is that Gregorious made Salza look foolish by stating the facts. Salza was embarrassed and angry as you can see by how he attacks Greogorious from among other things "being a laymen" and using the phrase "of course" and "amateur heresy sleuths from novus ordo watch" (which makes me wonder how Salza would be categorized). Salza seems like an amateur compared to Gregorious from what I have read and that seems pretty obvious to me after having read "The Chair is Still Empty". I'm not sure why such points would be entered into judging the veracity of the facts presented. But the result is that Salza has improved his writing and now tries to back up what he says and use footnotes. He now knows beyond a doubt that a public heretic can neither be a member of the Church or its head. He is learning from this debate, both theology and how to write more effectively.

We can hope that he ultimately will not be afraid of the truth even if he does not want the truth to be true.

He seemed to indicate in the article that even Luther would have to have been accepted as Pope (had he been elected before or after he taught things in contradiction to what the Church teaches), he seems to indicate that Luther was never officially declared a heretic by the Catholic Church (and according to his "theology" that would mean that even Luther even he assumed the chair would still be Pope despite what he taught against Catholic doctrine).

Some anti-SVs remind me of the Feeneyites who force themselves to assert the ridiculous with a straight face in order to keep their fairy tale alive.

Author:  Jorge Armendariz [ Mon Dec 01, 2014 1:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Article by John Salza

Just to support what John is saying, 99% of the theologians that talk about this issue (haven't encountered one so far that doesn't which is why I have that 1% out there, just in case there is someone stupid enough to make that claim) all accept that heretics lose membership in the Church. The difference is that they argue he retains his jurisdiction, haven't read the full article that was linked. Does he make the claim that they do not lose membership?

The idea of being suspect of heresy a million times is just ridiculous! This is something that took me sometime to absorb, canonically speaking you are only held suspect of heresy once. After that you are formally investigated and then condemned sometime after that. The process might take some time, especially given how travel and communication before was usually very slow, but now it would be so much quicker. The idea that someone is capable on a daily basis for multiple years commit acts which are suspect of heresy, defies reason and the purpose of law. This is truly an insult to the law of the Church... He might not realize, but the implications are quite clear. Being suspect of heresy was just a way in which the Church verified that it was not something done mistakenly, also served as a means to medicinally (charitably) bring them back to the right road. Think of all the warnings that Roncalli had received, many might think of this as authoritarianism, but it really served as a means to guide him on the road that leads to eternal life. It is only heretics, that refuse to submit their intellects to the magisterium of the Church, they decide their own path. Well what can you do about it? Simply warn others to stay away from them, at this point, since we do not have the arm of the state to help bring about social public order, when someone is a fountain of poison.

Author:  John Lane [ Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Article by John Salza

I've just seen Salza's Web site, and discovered that membership in the Church is actually a subject upon which he imagines that he is learned! Oh my: ... ership.pdf

Now it appears to me that Fr. Harrison is on this occasion exactly right, and Salza is all at sea.

John Salza wrote:
In his October 25, 2014 Letter to the Editor, Fr. Brian Harrison had the audacity of accusing me of “promoting a doctrinal error that has been censured by the Church’s magisterium,” namely, that one must have the Catholic Faith to be a member of the Catholic Church.

Well, if that's what Harrison accused him of, then Harrison is quite correct in his theology and Salza is quite plainly wrong - one does NOT have to "have" the faith in order to be a member of the Church. One may well have lost the faith and have no true interior virtue of faith at all, and yet remain a member of the Church. This is the doctrine of Bellarmine and of all the better ecclesiologists. What is required for membership in the Church is the outward PROFESSION of the faith. Occult heresy does not, by definition, conflict with the outward profession of the faith, and therefore it is not incompatible with membership in the Church.

As Bellarmine explains, "the manifest heretic is not in any way a member of the Church, that is, neither spiritually nor corporally, which signifies that he is not such by internal union nor by external union. For even bad Catholics [i.e. who are not heretics] are united and are members, spiritually by faith, corporally by confession of faith and by participation in the visible sacraments; the occult heretics are united and are members although only by external union; on the contrary, the good catechumens belong to the Church only by an internal union, not by the external; but manifest heretics do not pertain in any manner, as we have already proved."

John Salza wrote:
He says: “John Salza apparently assumes that all those who are not members of the Catholic Church must necessarily be outside of her” (emphasis in original). Yes, Fr. Harrison, that is correct. If one is not a member of the Catholic Church, he is outside the Catholic Church. If one is not a Catholic, then he is not a Catholic. Member = Inside / Non-member = Outside. Member ≠ Non-member. Principle of non-contradiction.

Again, Harrison is right, and Salza entirely at sea. Mons. Fenton (following Bellarmine) is perfectly clear that one can be inside the Church (by desire) and yet not a member of the Church. Salza compounds his confusion by adding, "Note that Fr. Harrison does not take issue with my explanation that one becomes a member through either water baptism or a desire for it." No respectable theologian says that one may become an actual member of the Church by desire! This is to confuse everything! A member is a part of the visible Church, a component cell of the Church, one of the things of which the Church is composed. A man who is a "member by desire" is in fact NOT a member - he is joined to the Church by purely internal bonds, and not by the external, visible, bonds which constitute men true members and parts of the Church.

There is no contradiction in this doctrine, and anybody (such as Salza) who thinks that there is, only proves that he doesn't understand the terms that he is using.

Finally, Salza does not actually understand of what Fr. Harrison is accusing him:
Fr. Harrison wrote:
Accordingly, he [Salza] assures us that even “those Protestants who are inculpably ignorant for their heresies ... lack divine faith, charity, and remission of sin” (“Who is a Member of the Church?”, The Remnant, 9/30/14, p.11). Now, if that were true, then all those who die as Protestants would necessarily be doomed to Hell, since divine faith and charity are absolutely essential for salvation.

This is perfectly clear. If a man is baptised, and innocently professes heresy (i.e. inculpably ignorantly), then by definition he retains the true virtue of faith. He lacks the external profession of it, and therefore he lacks actual membership in the Church, yet he is joined to the Church by the internal bond of faith, which is invisible. It is also possible (if in practice unlikely) for such a man to retain the state of grace and therefore ultimately to be saved. There's nothing difficult, obscure, or even particularly controversial in any of this. It's hard to see why Salza is even excited by it.

John Salza wrote:
He further takes issue with my statement that “Protestants...lack divine faith, charity and remission of sin.” This is because Fr. Harrison believes Protestants are inside the Catholic Church (and, thus, they have the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity, and forgiveness of sin just like Catholics). He continues: “Now, if that were true, then all those who die as Protestants would necessarily be doomed to Hell, since divine faith and charity are absolutely essential for salvation” (he even calls the truth that Protestants are damned an “excessively severe position”). Thus, Fr. Harrison affirms the truth that divine faith and charity are absolutely necessary for salvation, and then contradicts himself in the very same sentence by saying that Protestants (who do not have divine faith and charity) are also saved! (they are not “doomed to Hell”).

Poor John! Fr. Harrison doesn't say that all Protestants are inside the Church, or anything like that. All that he does is point out the contradiction in Salza's own position. Harrison objects, "[Salza] assures us that even “those Protestants who are inculpably ignorant for their heresies ... lack divine faith, charity, and remission of sin”. Then Harrison comments, "if that were true, then all those who die as Protestants would necessarily be doomed to Hell, since divine faith and charity are absolutely essential for salvation."

Harrison is plainly right - Salza's doctrine is novel, contrary to the best authorities, and self-contradictory anyway.

More importantly, Salza explains, confusedly:
John Salza wrote:
If the baptized person is invincibly ignorant of his obligation to submit to the infallible rule of the Church but would readily do so if he knew better (there is no sin against the faith), he remains a member of the Catholic Church because he has retained the virtue of faith (he is not a Protestant, but a Catholic)

This is disastrously wrong! Salza even quotes Pius XII and fails to see how the pope condemns his ideas. "Actually only those are to be numbered among the members of the Church who have received the laver of regeneration and profess the true faith and have not separated themselves from the unity of the body or excluded by legitimate authority.”

Pius XII does not say, and did not mean to say, that one must have the true faith in one's soul in order to be a Catholic, a member of the Church. What he says is that only those are actually members who profess the true faith. So Salza is wrong to say that a man who is joined to the Church by desire is actually a member, and he is equally wrong to say that a man who "has" the faith is therefore a member. It is not sufficient to have the faith; it is necessary to profess it outwardly. But even more importantly, it is catastrophically wrong to assert that anybody who is ignorant of the obligation to submit to the infallible rule of the Church could possibly be a member of the Church! Such a notion wrecks the visible unity of the Church as thoroughly as any Modernist or Protestant error ever did. With friends like these, the Church hardly has need of enemies.

Salza finishes off with the following gems:
John Salza wrote:
In summary, then, the Catholic Church teaches that one must have the Catholic Faith to be a member of the Catholic Church. Fr. Harrison teaches that Protestants (who do not have the Catholic faith) are also members of the Catholic Church. May God give Fr. Harrison the wisdom to see and correct his grievous errors.

1. The Catholic Church DOES NOT teach that one must have the Catholic Faith to be a member of the Catholic Church. She teaches that one must profess the faith in order to be counted as a member.
2. Fr. Harrison DOES NOT say that Protestants are members of the Church. Actually, he says the very opposite. He writes, "John Salza apparently assumes that all those who are not members of the Catholic Church must necessarily be outside of her..." which implicitly accepts that Protestants are not members whilst arguing that nevertheless it remains possible for a given Protestant to be "within" the Church (i.e. by desire).

Author:  ClemensMaria [ Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Article by John Salza

I'm not defending John Salza's position in any way but look at all the terms used for discussing Church membership!

1. member of the Church
2. non-member of the Church
3. outside the Church
4. inside the Church
5. saved
6. internal union with the Church
7. external union with the Church
8. outward profession of the faith
9. virtue of faith
10. interior virtue of the faith
11. occult heretic
12. manifest heretic
13. spiritual member of the Church
14. corporal member of the Church
15. inside the Church by desire
16. inculpable ignorance

I would not be suprised if I am missing a few. I think maybe the editor of the Remnant is more responsible for this mess than John Salza. Salza is a lawyer with no formal theological training. Shouldn't the editor have this stuff sanity checked before he publishes it? Even an intelligent man would find it difficult not to be confused by all the definitions and distinctions involved, especially if he didn't have a good instructor to help him out.

Author:  John Lane [ Wed Dec 03, 2014 11:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Article by John Salza

“Supposed errors.” A quick reply, without proofs, to John Salza's comments on sedevacantism.

1. The sedevacantist thesis is a solution to a problem - the problem of heresy and error in documents that appear to be from the magisterium, false worship offered virtually universally by what appear to be the officials of the Church, evil laws promulgated apparently by the Roman Pontiff, and finally (and most importantly) the apparent loss of the essential unity of profession of faith of the Church. It is true that for men such as Robert Sungenis, for example, who doesn't see the problem, there cannot be any need, let alone any urgency, for a solution. Apparently John Salza is in the same boat. Hence he does not grasp why the N.O. Watch people accuse him of facilely reducing the problem to a canonical question of heresy and penalties.

2. Salza and Cekada are both wrong when they argue about the sin vs the crime of heresy. A manifest heretic is not a member of the Church because if he were, the Church would not be one in her profession of faith. That's it. Everything else hangs off that principle. If it's not grasped clearly, then nothing else about the subject will make any sense. So what is the relevance of sin, and crime? A sin is an offence against God. A crime is a sin which attacks the social order. The sin of heresy is the doubt or denial of what must be held with divine and catholic faith; the crime of heresy is the external indication (words, actions, omissions, signs) of this doubt or denial. There is no crime without sin; the concept of crime includes the concept of sin. The man who was raised in the faith of his baptism, but who is no longer a member of the Church, must have committed both the sin, and the crime, of heresy in order to lose his membership in the Church. So Salza is right to insist that this must have happened for our view to be right, but wrong to insist that we give time and date, and specify the charge; Salza is wrong to say that if we could not show that JP2 committed a specific crime of heresy then he would be proved to be a Catholic and the pope; Cekada is wrong to say that only the sin is relevant, not the crime; Salza is all messed up about the canons and how to read them; Cekada is wrong to say that pertinacity is presumed; Salza has a little knowledge - just enough to get him into trouble.

3. Salza is in a terrible bind about membership in the Church. He has read enough to be convinced that he understands the question, and yet he is utterly confused. This is the worst of all possible combinations. An example: “What about the occult heretic who ‘professed the Catholic faith’? Is he a member of the Church? If this question were so simple, then why have theologians been divided on the question for hundreds of years?” Well, this is not as difficult a question as Salza thinks – and more importantly, it isn’t as “disputed” as he thinks it is. This is because the definition of “member” is the key question, and all else turns upon that. For those who follow Bellarmine, membership is defined exclusively in terms of external bonds. For others (the minority), membership is tied up with salvation etc. It is true that amongst the minority (a minority that was decreasing in size as Bellarmine’s star continued to rise for the past three hundred years), the case of the occult heretic was a genuinely knotty one. These theologians defined membership in terms of the virtue of faith, not its outward profession; therefore a man without true internal faith could not be regarded as a true member of the Church; but if this were so, then where was the visible unity of faith of the Church? To this, they had no acceptable answer, and hence their position was progressively abandoned and Bellarmine’s dominated, until at last he was declared Doctor of the Church and his ecclesiology confirmed by the Vatican Council and Pius XII in Mystici Corporis Christi.

4. Salza, a lawyer, appears to elevate human law above divine law and theology. The problem of the Conciliar popes is an ecclesiological problem. If Paul VI was pope, then the Church had lost her unity in the profession of faith, and she was offering God false worship, and she had abandoned her role of authoritative teacher of truth and instead had become a hippie facilitator, merely offering her opinions to men. Arguing about the canons and the "publicity" of Paul VI's heterodoxy misses the point. An analogy may assist to bring home the real point. If the church of Constantinople is a true particular church, a part of the Catholic Church, then the Catholic Church is not one in government or faith. This is a matter of fact and theology. It is not primarily a question of canon law, even if (as of course it does) canon law reflects divine law on the relevant questions. One cannot prove that a Greek schismatic church is part of the Catholic Church by legal arguments which undermine the certitude about the excommunication of Michael Cerularius, for example. But this is precisely what these anti-sedevacantist writers do with respect to the Conciliar crisis. They behave as defence lawyers for criminals, as if success in getting their client off will bring the victim back to life. Now, if Salza doesn’t see the problem with the New Church, then he won’t respect any proposed solution, including ours. Maybe he’s right, of course, and the crisis is not that bad. Maybe the New Mass isn’t false worship, after all, and Archbishop Lefebvre was mistaken about that. But let’s be clear about where we really differ, because then we will know what arguments we need to have.

5. Salza implicitly, but unquestionably, eliminates the notion of a fact recognised by the law, by asserting that a tacit resignation is actually a penalty; that all penalties must follow some action by authority; that there is no such thing as notoriety of fact (contra the explicit wording of c. 2197).

An illustration of this legalism: Salza writes, “there is a more fundamental legal question that must first be resolved: Who judges whether the Pope is a manifest heretic?” Salza’s answer is unclear, except in one point – he denies that a layman can form such a judgement. Sadly for him, no lesser authority than Pope Paul IV in his famous bull, Cum ex apostolatus, says the opposite. Yet Salza not only gets this point of law wrong, he insists that it is fundamental, which causes one to ask, if it’s fundamental, how come Paul IV didn’t know about it? Why does Bellarmine not mention it? Salza says that “the Church” must judge. He does not say why. Surely he cannot think that the Church is infallible in judgements which lack the confirmation of the pope; he cannot think that an imperfect general council can legally bind all Catholics; he surely doesn’t think that a warning must come from a superior in order to be useful, and if he does, who exactly is the pope’s superior? The truth is, Salza doesn’t know why “the Church” must judge, he just doesn’t like the way that Bellarmine and Pope Paul IV handled the question – that is, according to Tradition, specifically the tradition that accepts facts as facts without requiring Daddy to confirm them in every case (cf. c. 2197), and which holds every individual responsible before God for being sensible and realistic.

6. Salza is completely mistaken in asserting that a cardinal cannot disappear into heresy and tacitly resign his office until and unless he is judged by the pope. I was not intending to offer proofs here, but this one needs to be put to bed:

McDevitt, The Renunciation of an Ecclesiastical Office CUA, 1946, pp. 115-7:

“It is to be noted that every type of offices becomes vacant by means of tacit renunciation when the incumbent places one of the acts specified in cn 188, for the canon uses the words “quaelibet officia”. Likewise all clerics come under the prescriptions of this canon since the canon makes no distinction. While Cardinals are not subject to the penal law unless they are expressly mentioned (2227.2), the writer believes that they are subject to the prescription of canon 188 without any such special mention, since in his opinion this canon is not a penal canon. It is true that some of the acts enumerated in canon 188 constitute delicts, and have special penalties attached to them, but the effect of a tacit renunciation is not to be considered in the nature of canonical penalty.

In treating of public defection from the faith, Coronata notes that the tacit renunciation which results in consequence of this defection is not strictly the effect of a penal sanction (Instit. IV, n: 1864). This statement is quite true. Certainly the tacit renunciation cannot be considered a penalty for a religious profession, which according to cn 188.1 effects a tacit renunciation. There is certainly nothing in such an act that would warrant a penalty. Even with regard to the acts in cn 188 which constitute crime the writer believes that the tacit renunciation is not inflicted as a penalty. This fact seems quite clear to the writer, especially in view of the manner in which the code refers to the tacit renunciation in the cn which treat of penalties.

The quotation from the following two canons will serve to demonstrate the definition that the code makes. Cn 2168.2 in treating of the procedure against non resident clerics, states the following:

“In monitione Ordinarius recolat poenas quas incurrunt clerici non residentes itemque praescriptum cn 188.8.”

Cn 2314 in dealing with the crime of those who are guilty of heresy or apostasy reads as follows:
1.3 Si sectae acatholicae nomen dederint vel publice adheserint, ipso facto infames sunt, et firmo praescripto cn 188.4, clerici, monitione incassum praemissa, degradentur.

The same procedure is followed in the other canons which make mention of a tacit renunciation. It’s plainly evident that a distinction is being made between the threatened or enacted penalty on the one hand and a tacit renunciation on the other: nowhere in the code is the tacit renunciation called a penalty, it’s always set off in a separate ablative clause when it is enumerated with penalties. For this reason the writer is of the opinion that a tacit renunciation is not to be classified as a penalty. The authors do not expressly designate it as a penalty, but they do list it along with the penalties when they consider the juridical effects consequent upon specific crimes. (Vermesch- Creusen. Epitome III; 513, Coronata, Institutiones IV num. 2178, 2196).

The direct purpose of this discussion was to demonstrate that Cardinals are subject to the prescriptions of cn 188. Consequently the presentation of the arguments served the further purpose of clarifying that in this cn the law is not imposing a penalty, but is rather accepting the specified acts as tantamount to an express renunciation of office. It may here be noted also that a tacit renunciation and a privation of the office are very similar, but that the law nevertheless consistently places them in different categories.”

7. Suarez doesn’t just disagree with Bellarmine, he flatly asserts the very opposite of Bellarmine, in fact and law. For example, he denies that the Fathers teach what Bellarmine says that they teach. He denies that there is any divine law dealing with the matter, whereas Bellarmine cites and proves the divine law. Suarez must have been relying upon a corrupt text as the basis for his view, for he asserts that, "it is gathered from the first epistle of Saint Clement I, in which one reads that Saint Peter taught that a Pope heretic must be deposed." Yet nothing of the sort is found in the first epistle of St. Clement I, and no other theologian seems to have discovered any text like this in any other Patristic source, nor have they relied upon it. Bellarmine, on the other hand, gives reliable texts which say the opposite. Bellarmine and Suarez simply disagree, yet Salza thinks they agree! I say, Salza’s never read Suarez. There can be no other possible explanation.

8. Salza is a Conciliarist – he cheerfully asserts what every non-Gallican theologian since Cajetan has been at pains to deny – that the Church can judge a pope. “The crime (heresy) must be determined before the punishment for the crime (loss of office) can be inflicted. As Bellarmine, Suarez and the consensus of theologians maintain, the offense of Papal heresy is determined by the Church, and the divine punishment is inflicted by God (severance from the Body of Christ)...”

Salza’s position is that the Church can judge the pope but cannot, or at least does not, punish the pope. Since this position is heretical, I don’t think we need to concern ourselves any further with it.

Author:  John Lane [ Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Article by John Salza

A further thought about this "judging" business. It's probably slightly unfair to say that Salza is a Conciliarist. That would imply that he grasps what he's actually saying, and I think it's sufficiently clear that he has not thought through what he is saying and does not understand the concepts he is cheerfully throwing about.

Some aids to clear thinking.

Question: What is the "determination" of heresy if not a judgement? (John of St. Thomas frankly calls it a judgement!)

Question: If this "determination" is not a judgement, then why can a layman not form it for himself?

Question: If, as John of St. Thomas says, the heretic pope is pope until and unless such a judgement is rendered, then how is that judgement not a judgement of the pope? (This is heretical, at least since the Vatican Council in 1870.)

See John of St. Thomas here: viewtopic.php?p=17670#p17670 (Note, again, that Siscoe and Salza both fail to give credit for the translation.)

Author:  Mike Larson [ Fri Dec 05, 2014 6:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Article by John Salza

John Lane wrote:
A further thought about this "judging" business. It's probably slightly unfair to say that Salza is a Conciliarist. That would imply that he grasps what he's actually saying, and I think it's sufficiently clear that he has not thought through what he is saying and does not understand the concepts he is cheerfully throwing about.

Some aids to clear thinking.

Question: What is the "determination" of heresy if not a judgement? (John of St. Thomas frankly calls it a judgement!)

Question: If this "determination" is not a judgement, then why can a layman not form it for himself?

Question: If, as John of St. Thomas says, the heretic pope is pope until and unless such a judgement is rendered, then how is that judgement not a judgement of the pope? (This is heretical, at least since the Vatican Council in 1870.)

John, I'm following this thread with interest, and I appreciate your analysis of the Salza article--particularly with regard to distinctions concerning membership--but I'm afraid I got confused by this last post. I think perhaps if I were to see your own answers to each of the three questions you pose, I would better understand what you are driving at.

Author:  John Lane [ Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Article by John Salza

Dear Mike,

No problem, the point is to tease out the principles that underlie these points.

So, for example, what does the word "judge" mean when used in the phrase, "The First See is judged by no-one"? Because that's the principle that informs the theological analysis - of whichever opinion - which stays within the bounds of orthodoxy, or at least, attempts to do so. That is, all non-Gallican analysis. Now, Cajetan said that the heretic pope must be deposed but this did not involve judging the pope, which notion Cajetan arrived at by what amounted to sophistical distinctions. Here's Bellarmine:

Besides that, the second affirmation of Cajetan, that the Pope heretic can be truly and authoritatively deposed by the Church, is no less false than the first. For if the Church deposes the Pope against his will it is certainly above the Pope; however, Cajetan himself defends, in the same treatise, the contrary of this. Cajetan responds that the Church, in deposing the Pope, does not have authority over the Pope, but only over the link that unites the person to the pontificate. In the same way that the Church in uniting the pontificate to such a person, is not, because of this, above the Pontiff, so also the Church can separate the pontificate from such a person in case of heresy, without saying that it is above the Pope.

But contrary to this it must be observed in the first place that, from the fact that the Pope deposes bishops, it is deduced that the Pope is above all the bishops, though the Pope on deposing a bishop does not destroy the episcopal jurisdiction, but only separates it from that person. In the second place, to depose anyone from the pontificate against the will of the deposed, is without doubt punishing him; however, to punish is proper to a superior or to a judge. In the third place, given that according to Cajetan and the other Thomists, in reality the whole and the parts taken as a whole are the same thing, he who has authority over the parts taken as a whole, being able to separate them one from another, has also authority over the whole itself which is constituted by those parts.

The example of the electors, who have the power to designate a certain person for the pontificate, without however having power over the Pope, given by Cajetan, is also destitute of value. For when something is being made, the action is exercised over the matter of the future thing, and not over the composite, which does not yet exist, but when a thing is destroyed, the action is exercised over the composite, as becomes patent on consideration of the things of nature. Therefore, on creating the Pontiff, the Cardinals do not exercise their authority over the Pontiff for he does not yet exist, but over the matter, that is, over the person who by the election becomes disposed to receive the pontificate from God. But if they deposed the Pontiff, they would necessarily exercise authority over the composite, that is, over the person endowed with the pontifical power, that is, over the Pontiff.

Now, only a superior can judge, but the pope has no superior on earth, therefore he cannot be judged. John of St. Thomas finds himself arguing that the pope can be judged (in the case of heresy) by an imperfect general council - which is certainly not his superior! Yet he arrives at this error because he insists that only "authority" can issue the warnings necessary to establish pertinacity. A rich irony, that! Since only an authority can issue warnings, we arrive at an inferior judging a superior!

So, my first question is aimed at this point. Is it a "judgement" as in a juridical act which could only be made by a superior? If so, then it is unlawful for anybody, even a general council, and invalid even for a subsequent pope, who is not another pope's superior.

If it is not such a judgement, then what is it? It must be a judgement of the intellect. But if it isn't a juridical judgement, then what's the problem with a layman making it? There can be none, as far as I can tell. Certainly our opponents don't say what the problem is.

The third question is really just pointing out that despite all of his sophistical distinctions, John of St. Thomas arrives at a Conciliarist conclusion in the end. Laszlo Sijuarto, who translated those snippets, is embarrassed by this and tries to explain it away, unsuccessfully. It's really indefensible.

Author:  John Lane [ Sat Dec 06, 2014 10:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Article by John Salza

On membership and faith, Monsignor Fenton (AER, August 1957, Scholastic Definitions of the Church):

Both Lambrecht and Franzelin taught that real faith was requisite for membership in the Church, thus championing the position of Galenus and Sylvius against St. Peter Canisius and St. Robert [Bellarmine]. In this position, incidentally, they found little support among their fellow nineteenth century theologians. Franzelin slipped into error by basing his doctrine on membership in the Church on a distinction between formal and material heresy,* instead of on the one between manifest and occult heresy, used by St. Robert and the classical theologians.

*Footnote: Franzelin distinguished between being recognised as a member of the Church in foro externo and connection with the Church recognised by God and in foro interno.

Anybody who desires to be useful to his fellow Catholics in this crisis needs to submit his intellect fully to Rome and accept that there was a reason why St. Robert Bellarmine was declared Doctor of the Church, and that reason is in his doctrine. That is, his doctrine is correct. We are being told by Holy Mother Church to learn from him, so we ought to do so. We ought especially to do so when other theologians disagree with him. This is what happened on the question of papal infallibility, and Bellarmine's doctrine triumphed; it's what happened on the definition of the Church and his doctrine triumphed; it's what happened on the heretic pope thesis and his doctrine also triumphed - but apparently some have yet to recognise this. Cajetan was a great theologian, but he was all messed up on ecclesiology. So, read Cajetan on other subjects - soteriology, the sacraments, anything, but not ecclesiology. Bellarmine's the Doctor of Ecclesiology.

Author:  Thomas Williams [ Sun Dec 07, 2014 2:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Article by John Salza

In my own experience bringing up St. Robert Bellarmine's status as a Doctor of the Church compared to other theologian who disagrees with him x, y, or z, most people today seem to be under the impression that "Doctor of the Church" is merely an honorific title tacked-on to someone already a saint for no better reason than why not? and are not aware that such status elevates the given doctor's theology over those of non-doctors in matters of apparent controversy. Sections 26 & 27 of Wilhelm and Scannell cover the authority of doctors in relation to the Church Fathers, but only very briefly and without really going into the point concerning disagreements, etc.

Author:  John Lane [ Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Article by John Salza


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